Much of what we know about the large scale characteristics of the Okhotsk Sea ice cover comes from ice concentration maps derived from passive microwave data. To understand what these satellite data represents in a highly divergent and rapidly changing environment like the Okhotsk Sea, we analyzed concurrent satellite, aircraft, and ship data and characterized the sea ice cover at different scales from meters to tens of kilometers. Through comparative analysis of surface features using co-registered data from visible, infrared and microwave channels we evaluated how the general radiative and physical characteristics of the ice cover changes as well as quantify the distribution of different ice types in the region. Ice concentration maps from AMSR-E using the standard sets of channels, and also only the 89 GHz channel for optimal resolution, are compared with aircraft and high resolution visible data and while the standard set provides consistent results, the 89 GHz provides the means to observe mesoscale patterns and some unique features of the ice cover. Analysis of MODIS data reveals that thick ice types represents about 37% of the ice cover indicating that young and new ice represent a large fraction of the lice cover that averages about 90% ice concentration, according to passive microwave data. A rapid decline of -9% and -12 % per decade is observed suggesting warming signals but further studies are required because of aforementioned characteristics and because the length of the ice season is decreasing by only 2 to 4 days per decade.